There are several schools of thought when it comes to digital note taking and productivity. One school advocates powerful tools such as Evernote, which allows you to take notes, clip articles and images, and save documents into a note. Evernote also has some pretty powerful search functionality that lets you find that data again. The other school advocates simple text. Using the file system, and a plain text editor like Vim or TextMate, or what have you. There are powerful arguments both ways, and I find myself coming down somewhere in the middle. On the one hand, I like Evernote’s ubiquity. It’s on my phone, my laptop and my tablet, and I can save everything from quick shopping lists to clipped articles from the web, to pdf documents. In the case of those pdf’s Evernote will even scan them and make the text searchable. That’s extrememly cool. However, it’s too heavy for actual “notes” and Evernote’s interface is notorious for not being “note friendly”. Things are complicated by the fact that I run Linux on my laptop, and there’s not a good Linux client for Evernote.
So, I’ve come up with a workflow that works for me. It might not work for you, but hey, it’s another tool in the battle for ultimate productivity, right? First of all, I use Evernote as my basic “Archiving” tool. It’s where I clip articles to read later, my wishlist, images, receipts, etc… I’ve even started using Evernote as my main bookmark manager. Evernote works well for me as a digital filing cabinet, since that’s really what it’s designed to do. However, there are two things that I do NOT do in Evernote. To-do lists, and my notes.